Tabcorp, the Australian wagering and entertainment company, has announced that it will be stepping up its online wagering game to directly compete with other major players in the industry, such as Sportsbet and Ladbrokes. The company made the move after recording a profit of AUD $52 million in the past six months. Traditionally associated with in-store betting, Tabcorp launched its digital gambling app last September, with advertisements airing during the FIFA World Cup broadcast. The company now aims to increase its digital market share from 25% to 30% within the next two years.
According to the Guardian, in order to achieve this goal, Tabcorp plans to transform its entire wagering ecosystem, including new products for punters, a reinvigoration of Sky Racing that will include a greater integration with TAB, and the implementation of a new marketing strategy. The successful launch of the new TAB app helped the company retain its digital market share despite the introduction of new competitors.
Tabcorp held its digital market share in the last half of 2022, despite increasing competition and the arrival of News Corp-backed wagering company Betr. However, Tabcorp’s chief executive, Adam Rytenskild, criticized Betr’s “highly distortionary promotional offers,” such as offering gamblers odds of 100 to one on every runner in the Melbourne Cup, provided they bet $10 or less.
Tabcorp has also called for policies that favor in-store gambling, rather than betting on mobile phones, and has lobbied for a new national body, perhaps run by the federal government, to boost oversight of online gambling. Most digital wagering companies are licensed in the Northern Territory and are subject to oversight from the NT Racing Commission, despite operating nationally. Tabcorp is licensed in other states.
The company has flagged a new marketing campaign to increase its digital share, and has also criticized Sportsbet’s partnership with TikTok. Gambling promotions are banned on the app but Sportsbet has been given a strictly controlled trial. “Regulating and restricting this type of gambling advertising is complex, and the current laws and regulations have not kept pace with emerging technologies and social media platforms like TikTok,” said a Tabcorp submission to an ongoing parliamentary inquiry into online gambling.
Despite significantly boosting revenue from gambling, Rytenskild said Tabcorp had a “genuine aim to do the right thing” and meet high expectations for compliance and transparency. The company recorded a 58% increase in cash wagering revenue as punters returned to retail venues after pandemic lockdowns. Overall revenue increased by 11% to AUD $1.27 billion. The company has also announced plans to cut spending by AUD $20 million over the next three years.